The Chalice

by Nancy Bilyeau

Part of the Joanna Stafford Series

The Chalice Synopsis

Winner of the Best Historical Mystery novel at the RT Book Reviews Awards. A curse to kill a king, a fight to save a nation. Follow young Joanna Stafford right into the dark heart of King Henry VIII's court in this stunning Tudor thriller. England, 1538. The nation is reeling after the ruthless dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Cast out of Dartford Priory, Joanna Stafford - feisty, courageous, but scarred by her recent encounter with rebellion at court - is trying to live a quiet life with her five-year-old charge, Arthur. But family connections draw her dangerously close to a treasonous plot and, repelled by violence and the whispered conspiracies around her, Joanna seeks a life with a man who loves her. But, no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape the spreading darkness of her destiny. She must make a choice between those she cares for most, and taking her part in a mysterious prophecy foretold by three compelling seers. Joanna embarks upon a testing journey, and, as she deciphers the meaning at the core of the prophecy, she learns that the fate of a king and the freedom of a nation rest in her hands.

The Chalice Press Reviews

Bilyeau's intense and moving sequel to THE CROWN. * TELEGRAPH & ARGUS * Bilyeau's fluid style and brilliant characterisation light up this smart tale of faith, mysticism and power * BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH * THE CHALICE is brimming with sinister portents, twisted allegiances, religious superstition and political intrigue. It's a darkly fascinating Tudor brew that leaves you thirsting for more * Patricia Bracewell, author of Shadow on the Crown * The Chalice is a gripping, tightly-plotted mystery, with a beguiling heroine at its heart, that vividly conjures up the complex dangers of Reformation England. Bilyeau's deftness of touch and complete control over her complex material make for a truly exciting and compelling read * ELIZABETH FREMANTLE author of QUEEN'S GAMBIT * THE CHALICE is a compelling and pacey time machine to the 16th Century. And when you're returned to the present, you'll have enjoyed an adventure and gained a new perspective on a past you'd wrongly thought to be a done deal * Andrew Pyper, author of THE DEMONOLOGIST * As in The Crown, Bilyeau's writing style means that the story reads almost flawlessly. The narrative really makes the reader throw themselves into the story, and makes it so the book is really difficult to put down. I was really very impressed with Bilyeau's writing (As I was in The Crown), and honestly can't recommend this book highly enough. * LOYALTY BINDS ME * Bilyeau paints a moving portrait of Catholicism during the Reformation and of reclusive, spiritual people adjusting to the world outside the cloister. This intriguing and suspenseful historical novel pairs well with C. J. Sansom's Dissolution (2003) and has the insightful feminine perspective of Brenda Rickman Vantrease's The Heretic's Wife (2010). * BOOKLIST * Rarely have the terrors of Henry VIII's reformation been so exciting. Court intrigue, bloody executions, and haunting emotional entanglements create a heady brew of mystery and adventure that sweeps us from the devastation of the ransacked cloisters to the dangerous spy centers of London and the Low Countries, as ex-novice Joanna Stafford fights to save her way of life and fulfill an ancient prophecy, before everything she loves is destroyed * C.W. GORTNER, author of THE QUEEN'S VOW * THE CHALICE offers a fresh, dynamic look into Tudor England's most powerful, volatile personalities: Henry VIII, the Duke of Norfolk, Stephen Gardiner and Bloody Mary Tudor. Heroine and former nun Joanna Stafford is beautiful, bold and in lethal danger. Bilyeau writes compellingly of people and places that demand your attention and don't let you go even after the last exciting page * KAREN HARPER, bestselling author of MISTRESS OF MOURNING * A stunning debut. One of the best historical novels I have ever read * ALISON WEIR * Sharply observed, cleverly paced and sympathetically written, this book more than fulfils the promise of THE CROWN, itself named as last year's most impressive debut novel by the CWA Ellis Peters judges. If Joanna Stafford is to return to see out the final years of Henry's tempestuous reign and the accession of his Catholic daughter Mary, I am sure I will not be alone in waiting eagerly for her * crimereview.co.uk * The human and political battles of Henry VIII's Reformation are brought to exhilarating life in THE CHALICE * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781409135807
Publication date: 13th February 2014
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau's acclaimed first novel, THE CROWN, was shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger Award for historical fiction and dubbed 'the year's most impressive debut' by the judging panel. It took five years to research and write. Her second novel, THE CHALICE, was the winner of the Best Historical Mystery novel at the RT Book Reviews Awards. Her screenplays have placed as finalist in several prominent industry competitions, including the NICHOLL FELLOWSHIP, PAGE INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARDS, SCRIPTAPALOOZA, and Francis Ford Coppola's AMERICAN ZOETROPE COMPETITION. Nancy, a magazine editor, lives in New York City with her family. Find out more ...

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